I have had the honor of being invited to learn and work in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca this coming August with Doctors for Global Health, and I have started this fundraising venture with the humble dream that I can summon the financial support I need to make it possible for me to go.
I am truly excited to share this segment of my offbeat and evolving medicine path with you, not least because it represents a powerful integration of true passions.
"Liberation Medicine: the conscious, conscientious use of health to promote human dignity and social justice."
-Doctors for Global Health
As some of you know, I have been preoccupied with the enterprise of social medicine for many years. Two years ago, I spontaneously escaped from acupuncture school in the middle of a crazy semester to attend DGH’s annual General Assembly in Tehuantepec, Oax. and San Cristobal, Chiapas. Those galvanizing six days in Mexico included visits to rural communities and massacre sites, gesticulating my way through sociophilosophical conversations in Spanish, and lots and lots of tortillas.
AUGUST IN OAXACA
Now I have an amazing opportunity to return to Tehuantepec and to work in a volunteer capacity directly with Comunidades Campesinas en Camino (CCC - “Rural Communities in Cooperation”), a rural agricultural worker’s collective that represents over 2000 local organic farmers in over 25 communities- indigenous men and women of Zapotec, Chontal, Mixtec, Ikoot, Chinantec and Zoque ancestry. CCC is working in partnership with DGH to put "la salud en manos del pueblo" – to put health in the hands of the community.
For the month of August, I plan to take an immersive journey into CCC’s various health projects, including a community acupuncture clinic in Salina Cruz and a large-scale native medicinal plant garden. I will be assisting in the clinic and in the continued development of educational programs focused on the reclamation of local, ancestral healing practices, and possibly with health promoter trainings via instruction in the modalities of acupuncture, plant medicine, and Reiki.
Please visit DGH for more information about social/liberation medicine, and specifically about their ongoing work in Oaxaca. It is a beautiful group of people engaging with the world in incredibly meaningful ways.
WHY ACUPUNCTURE IN MEXICO?
First of all, it is an established, effective form of affordable community medicine, and CCC's low-cost acupuncture clinic has had great success. Secondly, by reinstating the primacy of the body's self-healing capacities, Oriental medicine is a fundamentally humanizing, and therefore fundamentally empowering medicine.
And the importance of embodied empowerment is obvious, especially when contemplated from the standpoint of social justice and structural violence. We know that poverty makes us sick, along with trauma and myriad other afflictions linked to oppression, war, and environmental degradation.
HEALTH IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT
I am asking for help to make this happen because I believe that the healing of individual bodies, minds, and hearts equates, both energetically and literally, to the healing of the social body and the social heart. Health is a fundamental human right, and the resonances of caring attention and vital embodiment have a range that extends far beyond any particular healing encounter or modality.
Please contribute whatever amount feels right if you are inspired to help fund my healing and social medicine work in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca this summer. No amount is too tiny. And thank you for reading this, I am wildly grateful for any and all forms of support.
May it be so.
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